Session July 11, 2017
from the Chancery Court for Warren County No. 555-A Larry B.
Stanley, Jr., Chancellor
appeal arises from the termination of Mother's parental
rights with respect to her minor child. Father and
Grandmother jointly filed a "Petition for Termination
and Adoption" to terminate Mother's parental rights
and to allow Grandmother to adopt the child without
terminating Father's parental rights. The trial court
granted the petition and Mother appeals. We have determined
that petitioners do not have standing to petition the court
to terminate Mother's parental rights in order to allow
Grandmother to adopt the child without terminating
Father's parental rights. Therefore, we reverse and
remand with instructions to dismiss the petition for lack of
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Chancery
Barnes, Sparta, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jamie A.
Little Pirtle, McMinnville, Tennessee, for the appellees,
Patricia A. and Stanley A.
G. Clement Jr., P.J., M.S. delivered the opinion of the
Court, in which Andy D. Bennett and Richard H. Dinkins, JJ.,
G. CLEMENT JR., P.J., M.S.
A. ("Father") and Jamie A. ("Mother")
divorced in 2009. Lyric A., who is still a minor, is their
child. The final divorce decree incorporated a permanent
parenting plan which designated Father as the primary
residential parent and granted Mother 110 days of visitation
per year with alternating holidays. Mother frequently used
drugs and was arrested and incarcerated on several occasions.
A majority of the time, Lyric lived with Father and
Father's mother, Patricia A. ("Grandmother").
March 23, 2015, Father and Grandmother jointly filed a
"Petition for Termination and Adoption, " alleging
that Mother had willfully failed to visit and willfully
failed to support Lyric for more than four consecutive months
prior to the filing of the petition. They asked the court to
terminate Mother's parental rights on abandonment
grounds, pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. §
36-1-102(1)(A)(i), and to allow Grandmother to adopt Lyric
without terminating Father's parental rights.
trial court held a hearing on November 23, 2015. In a written
order entered on November 25, 2015, the trial court
terminated Mother's parental rights. Mother appealed.
Upon review of the record in the first appeal we found
deficiencies with the judgment appealed from and remanded the
case with instructions for the trial court to make more
detailed findings of fact and conclusions of law and to enter
remand, the trial court entered a revised judgment in which
it stated its specific findings of fact and conclusions of
law and held that the petitioners proved by clear and
convincing evidence that Mother had abandoned the child by
willfully failing to visit and by willfully failing to
financially support the child and that termination of her
rights was in the child's best interest. Based on these
findings and conclusions, the trial court terminated
Mother's parental rights and granted Grandmother's
petition to adopt the child without terminating Father's
parental rights. This appeal followed.
appeal, Mother asked us to consider (1) whether the trial
court properly determined that grounds existed for the
termination of Mother's parental rights, and (2) whether
the trial court properly determined that termination of
Mother's parental rights was in Lyric's best
interest. However, we have determined that the ...